What BBQ smoker for a noob?

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by Foolio, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. Foolio

    Foolio Member

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    I want to get into smoking bbq briskets and ribs as I have been inspired by all the recipes on this forum. I did a little research and found a vertical smoker will suit a novice like me. I was looking at the Weber smokey mountain and the Pro Q Frontier. The Weber medium size has a cooking area of 47cm and the RRP is $750. The Pro Q Excel 20 has a cooking area of 48cm and RRP is $650.

    From what I have read the weber has more users and hence more user knowledge base. The Pro Q is cheaper and apparently has some extra features like the 3 size config with latches and handles. Both thermostats are apparently off by some margin so people seem to replace it with a quality thermostat later. The weber has a 10 year limited warranty and the Pro Q has a 2 year warranty I believe.

    Than I came across this cheapy one on ebay http://bit.ly/21lsQZr which is on sale at $100 which has a cookin area of 38cm.

    Basically I going to have to replace the stock thermostats on all the 3 models.

    I currently have no bbq or grilling bbq's at home so Im not sure which one to get. Should I get the $100 one and see how I go or should I invest in a Weber or ProQ and look for solid use for 10 years+. What would you guys recommend?
     
  2. jack_son77

    jack_son77 Member

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    I currently have a weber kettle, a weber smokey mountain, and a weber genesis gas bbq.

    I love them all for what they are, but the best bang for buck & all round versatility winner has to be the kettle.

    The smokey mountain is absolutely fantastic, and i'd recommend it in a heartbeat - but most of what you can achieve with with it can also be done with the kettle with the right technique... Plus you gain the added benefit of being able to grill as well as smoke.

    TL;DR - the smokey mountain is great, but as an only BBQ, the weber kettle is the best all-rounder.
     
  3. scon

    scon Member

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    I'd probably agree with the sentiment above. If the ONLY thing you want to do is american style bbq then sure, get a vertical smoker... but if you only got one or you were buying your first bbq... I'd go a kettle - I've done heaps of pulled pork, ribs, briskets (as pastrami) in my kettle and they've gone great - plus if you can do it in a kettle you can do it in anything... like learning to drive a manual car in a way.
     
  4. oh_noes

    oh_noes Member

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    Weber Smokey Mountain is good.

    I have a "Hark" gas smoker, 4 racks and a pit for water and wood chips. LOVE it. Being gas it's easy to manage temperature.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. scon

    scon Member

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    Also worth noting that Aldi do (apparently) rebadged Hark's once a year for a super good price.
     
  6. Quadbox

    Quadbox Member

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    yeah, my brother in law's got one and is very happy with it
     
  7. psychobunny

    psychobunny Member

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    this was about a month ago... some stores may still have one. my biggest concern with it is that it was square and ended up with uneven results according to some reviews.

    anybody used a cold smoke generator like one of these electric units before? http://www.smokedaddyinc.com/products.html#!/Cold-Smokers/c/15885064/offset=0&sort=normal
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Foolio

    Foolio Member

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    Only thing Im concerned about is the with smoking in the kettle is the controlling of direct heat. I know you can use like a tin tray to create a cool zone but I feel like the heat facing side will cook/burn much faster?
     
  9. Stooge007

    Stooge007 Member

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    you can use the snake method with your charcoal/beads, a water pan and then rotate the meat to always be on the opposite side to the direct heat

    if you keep the top vent on the opposite side to the direct heat the smoke naturally flows over the meat, which is what you want

    doing this, you shouldn't get "hot spots" on your meat
     
  10. caspian

    caspian Member

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    I did a smoke BBQ class a week ago at the Queen Vic market and got to use a few different units.

    if you really want a fantastic smoker, buy one of these. http://radarhillsmokers.com.au/ offset firebox, built out of serious steel. serious price too, but you will only ever buy one.

    seriously though, get the Weber kettle. it's cheap and does everything fairly well.
     
  11. Anteros

    Anteros Member

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    Out of those options, go for the weber kettle, and look online for a used one to save a lot of money. I got a 20yo one on ebay for $50 a few years ago that was in good condition and served me well until my dad thought he could also use it as a fire pit.

    Keep the money you save by buying second hand for a year or two down the track when you want to upgrade to a komado!
     
  12. josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    +1 for the Weber kettle. I often do 9hr low and slow in mine using the snake method without having to add any coals. I bought mine new, $400 plus $40 in-store credit at rays (rays club card) which I then spent on some more bbq stuff. It's been brilliant and with a 10 year warranty it works out to be a $40 a year investment. I would have no qualms about buying second hand (this was a gift from the in-laws after we moved towns when I got into uni).
     
  13. Daft_Munt

    Daft_Munt Member

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    All the cold smoking I have done (for the past 20 years) has been with saw dust, newspaper and a blow torch, just get it to smoulder (no flame) and make sure the temp doesnt get over 26C for salmon, trout and strout (salmon trout hybrid).
     
  14. psychobunny

    psychobunny Member

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    do they still do this? got a link?
     
  15. stevenx

    stevenx Member

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    I use an Akorn kamado with a Pitmaster IQ120. It works well, but there's not much room in the kamado. The combination is great - I can do 18 hour cooks without any drama and without using much fuel.
     
  16. looktall

    looktall Working Class Doughnut

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    been toying with the idea of buying one of those (or a clone) for a while now.
    does it work well?

    i want to do some more smoking but can't be bothered fucking around with charcoal etc.
    the idea of using gas pleases me.

    presumably one of these could be used for cold smoking as well?
     
  17. caspian

    caspian Member

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  18. MB403

    MB403 Member

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    okie dokie.

    comming in alittle late but hey, if its not too late..

    i have 4 webers, a UDS and a smoker like the quoted post. they all have the + & - but as a beginner, i started on a weber. easy to use, not so much for controlling temp. i use a smoker cabinet like the quoted post and its brilliant. runs on gas, its easy to control temp. cheaper to run than using charcoal (gidgee). good starting point. big enought to retain heat and cook briskets etc. UDS is brilliant for big cooks.

    my vote is for a $20 gumtree weber or a smoking cabinet like above.

    i should mention mine is a hark clone bought at a garage sale being used only once. i throw some charcoal chunks into the smoking tray with my wood chips and the meat has that charcoal flavor, not as strong but noticeable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  19. sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    Pros to proq, all wsm recipes are directly translated.
    Pros to weber is that their support is 2nf to NONE

    Your other alternstive in that price range is the hark trifire.

    In relation to the gas and electric cabinets people are posting up. Personally as a pureist id say dont bother.
    Go for somethibg that burns aolid fuel as the flavour profiles are much better.

    If you are looking to get really serious then check out my company scsmokers.com.au we make pits that are some of the best avaliabke in australia.

    In any case let me know what you choose and if you have any questions let me know
     
  20. Jim-podiatrist

    Jim-podiatrist Member

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    Get a weber ketle.
    You can't go wrong.
     

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